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Raj Kapoor’s ancestral haveli in Peshawar to be made into a museum: Pak minister

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the government planned to turn the nacestral Kapoor haveli into a museum following a request from Raj Kapoor’ s son Rishi Kapoor.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2018 16:38 IST
Rezaul H Laskar
Rezaul H Laskar
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Raj Kapoor,Kapoor haveli,Raj Kapoor ancestral house
The Kapoor Haveli, the family’s sprawling ancestral home in Qissa Khwani Bazar of Peshawar was built by Basheswarnath Kapoor, the father of acting legend Prithviraj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor (in pic), the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, was born in the house in 1924.(File photo)

The Pakistan government plans to make Rishi Kapoor’s ancestral home in the fabled Qissa Khwani Bazar into a museum in keeping with a request from the Bollywood star.

Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke about the government’s plans during an interaction with visiting Indian journalists late on Wednesday night.

“There was a call from Rishi Kapoor, who said that his family’s home should be made into a museum or some sort of institution,” he said.

“So you can tell him we have made a decision to make it (a museum).”

Naeemul Haq, special assistant for political affairs to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said the premier was very keen on preserving the history and heritage of Peshawar. “He has a special interest in restoring these places to their original glory. Mr Rishi Kapoor’s request will be met very positively,” he said.

Minister of state for interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said he had received a call from Rishi Kapoor regarding the house while he was visiting Jaipur in 2016. At the time, Afridi was an MP from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party was in the opposition.

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“He had called me and talked about making his ancestral home into a museum. Now the federal and provincial governments are working on this and it will happen soon,” Afridi said.

The Kapoor Haveli, the family’s sprawling ancestral home in Qissa Khwani Bazar was built by Basheswarnath Kapoor, the father of acting legend Prithviraj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor, the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, was born in the house in 1924.

The top floor of the five-storey house at Dakhi Nalbandi, Peshawar’s highest point, collapsed years ago but about 60 rooms still survive. After the Kapoor family left Peshawar following the Partition in 1947, the building’s ownership passed through several hands.

Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home too is located near the Qissa Khwani Bazar. Pakistani authorities have tried to acquire the crumbling building in recent years so that it could be preserved as a national heritage site but their efforts ran into rough weather because of legal cases.

Kumar’s house is located in a corner of Doma Gali in Mohalla Khudadad, and the star was born there as Muhammad Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922.

He spent several years of his childhood in the Qissa Khwani Bazar or the “Market of Storytellers,” where travellers and traders from across Central Asia gathered to swap tales.

Some relatives of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan still live in Shah Wali Qataal area of Peshawar.

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First Published: Nov 29, 2018 11:58 IST